I took my dog (actually my boyfriend's dog) to the vet on Friday for a few reasons:
Extremely bad breath
Red gums with ulcers and tartar on teeth
Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
Licked bones but refused to chew them
Whimpering when he stands up
And a couple non-symptom things such as new license, heartworm check and meds, flea prevention meds.
Rufus has had a few skin infections over the last year and I think I may have messed up and not noticed the problems with his mouth. I figured that maybe he had a tooth infection that spread.
While at the vet, Rufus cried out when he stood as we got called. He'd been whimpering but never cried out that loud, so I don't know if that was bad pain or he was scared due to being at the vet. The vet came into the room and he immediately complained that his lunch was interrupted. I told him about the swollen lymph nodes and the whimpering when he tried to stand. The vet check the other lymph nodes around his front and rear legs and said those were swollen, too. He said from the symptoms it sounded like it was lymphoma, gave him a shot of cortisone, took a blood sample and told me he'd call me with the results today. Then he sent us off and I assume he ran off to lunch.
He didn't even give me a chance to tell him the other symptoms and I was too in shock about the idea of lymphoma to remember. Now that I've had a chance to think, I realized he didn't even give Rufus a full exam.
Today, he called with the results of the blood sample and said everything came back normal, but it didn't mean that he doesn't have lymphoma. He wants to do a biopsy and my poor boyfriend convinced that his dog is going to die of lymphoma. But I think he may have made a mistake in his rush to get to lunch. Could this be an infection due to the issues with his mouth? Is it periodontal disease? Or is it likely the vet is right?
A fine needle aspirate or biopsy must be performed on several enlarged lymph nodes to diagnose Lymphoma. A systemic infection could cause swelling of many lymph nodes, but unfortunately Lymphoma is high on the list.
I am sorry your vet was so callous. Maybe you should take your boy friends dog to a vet who really cares next time, for the biopsy. Holistic vets often have success treating Lymphoma, perhaps you can find another vet in your area by searching www.tcvm.com or the American holistic veterinary medical association websites, or a google search, of course. Good Luck!
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